Separate (partitioned) areas for different species
Reliable (e.g. redundant equipment, no single point of failure)
System has three tanks (with a unified water volume), stacked
vertically. Top two tanks are visible ("display"), bottom is a hidden
Material is acrylic, mostly clear (some black), with internal partitions
Except for water into surge box (which enters from below), all water
from return pumps enters from above the tanks, via adjustable caterpiller
nozzles. Thus no drill holes are required in the tanks for the returns
(aside from the return drains in the sump).
Surge device has no moving parts. It is an inverted pipe that functions
via siphon physics.
Surge box is fed from main return pump #2, via a 3/4" hole in the bottom
of the surge box.
Drain pipe is 2" diameter, inverted-U, open 1/2" from tank bottom in back
Size of the box is 20" across by 17" deep by 16" high (the height of the
emergency overflow teeth), minus a 5"x5"x16" overflow box. Water volume is
thus 5440-400 = 5040 cu.in., /231 = 22 gal.
Surge drains into middle (reef) tank. The area of this tank is 56"x30"
= 1680 sq.in., so the full surge water volume ought to raise the middle water
level by 3" at most (if instant dump). The middle tank has normal water level
of 15", with 3" teeth, to a full height of 18".
The surge then drains to the bottom (sump) tank, with a collection area
after the baffles of 26"x24" = 624 sq.in., minus a 10"x10" macroalgae area,
for a useable area of 524 sq.in. Full surge would raise the sump level by
9.6", so the water level is expected to vary between 5" and 15" during a surge
cycle. Note also that there is a ground-level water path through the sump
baffles, so in low-water conditions the extra 10"x24" initial sump area is